Cucumbers are usually consumed raw in salads. The dark-green skin contrasts against the almost-white flesh. Many cucumbers in the grocery store have been waxed to preserve the moisture inside them. If you don't want to peel the cucumber, blanching it removes the wax by melting it off. Blanched cucumber is given as a diet food supplement for aquarium fish. It is also an ingredient in Asian dishes.
Things You'll Need
- Scrub brush
- Cutting board
- Ice and water
- Measuring cup
- Slotted spoon
- Vegetable peeler
Scrub the cucumbers. If you only want to remove the wax, leave them whole. Some cooks prefer to remove the seeds from the cucumbers before blanching. If so, cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Run a spoon down the center of the cucumbers to scrape out the seeds. Slice the cucumbers in 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Fill a bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it is at a rolling boil, add 2 cups of cucumber slices. When the water returns to a rolling boil, count to 60. This is less time than what's usually required for blanching bigger, thicker vegetables. Place the whole cucumbers in the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. This is less time than for the slices because you're only melting the wax off.
Remove the cucumbers with a slotted spoon, and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and proceed as your recipe directs.
Peel the skin from the cucumbers. Using a vegetable peeler, pare slices from the cucumber. Cut each slice into narrower strips about 1/4 inch wide.
Plunge the "noodles" into boiling water for one minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice water.
Reheat the cucumber noodles in olive oil and garlic or butter. Add in cherry tomatoes and cook just until the tomatoes burst.
Combine the cooled blanched cucumbers with blanched fresh raw onion rings and sour cream for a refreshing summer salad.
Tips & Warnings
- Wax may also be removed by running the cucumbers under hot water that is at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you blanch the cucumbers slices or noodles too long, they will get mushy.
- Epicurious: Cucumber Noodles
- "The Art of Cooking Preparing and Presenting Fine Food"; Arnold Zabert; 1984
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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